Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Only Hope for Dads - Maturity of Faith

What is characteristic of the modern family is that on the level of profound personal experience, parents and children live apart... Now we are entering a social structure in which...there are only three ages: childhood, adolescence, and old age.

The husband of the mother is not a father, he is a regular guy, a playmate for the boys, engaged in the same foibles and subject to similar impulses. Since he neither represents the legacy of the past nor is capable of keeping pace with the boys in the pursuit of the future, his status is rather precarious.

Unless a fellowship of spiritual experience is reestablished, the parent will remain an outsider to the child's soul...

Excerpted from 'I Asked for Wonder'
by Abraham Heschel.


Athos said...

Our society has made it manifestly clear that adults nearing the age of retirement - both male and female - are, unless possessed of a truly marketable quality of some sort, vvery low in the pecking order. The ethos of "respect for elders" is part of the Christ-haunted pre-postmodern era and, hence, is quickly slipping away (if pockets can still be found at all).

Little wonder that "guys" in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s wear the ubiquitous turned-around baseball (basebaal?) caps, cargo shorts, and shapeless tees -- they do not want to feel their creeping worthlessness in the eyes of our desert-dry, yet scapegoat seeking culture.

How can Dads hope to hold the respect of sons, while sons are bombarded with the message that men their Dads' age are victim-fodder?

It kind of makes me long for the teetering, last-gasp efforts of Robert Bly (Iron John) and the men's groups of old. But only kind of.

Athos said...

Oh, yeah. You can get your copy of Iron John for $0.01 (plus shipping).

David Nybakke said...

You point out a valid method of determining the worth of pop and new-age books.

Athos said...

Heschel, lest we forget, was a fabulous Talmudic scholar - not exactly a orthodox Catholic. As far as pop culture gurus go, recall that the Apostle Paul was knocked off his high horse by the Lord while carrying a writ from the sannhedrin.

The Holy Spirit has a funny way of working within and without "official" lines of communication and orthodoxy. I fully expect the Paraklete to find loopholes in the Koran for a new St Paul one of these days ... stands to reason.

Regarding wayward sons: look not to your own efforts, my good fellow Aramis. YOU can't save a son, and neither can I. Trust those waters of his Baptism. Cheers